One of the challenges that face anyone creating bonsai is that they GROW not only above the soil but below, of course all trees need roots however sometimes the roots can cause problems such as oversize and out of scale to the tree, particularly with deciduous species.
I have been working this hawthorn raft over 26 years, it has been re-potted 5 times, it tends to sulk for 12 months after re-potting, but it settles down the following season.
At the end of 2015 I noticed that a major root was becoming too thick and changing the nature of the nebari of the tree. The other roots were in scale to the tree and were in sufficient number to sustain the tree if the thick root were to be removed.
I did not want to remove the root during re-potting of the tree as such an intervention combined with disturbance…
View original post 123 more words
Shore Pine is one of North America’s most beautiful two-needled pines, with short bright green needles and great bark. It has similarities to many other smaller pines which often have multiple crowns, like pinyon pines. Shore pine does have one distinct difference however, and that (appears to be) cold hardiness.
I say ‘appears to be’ because it’s more of a hunch. It does seem that at least some populations of Shore Pine are not as cold hardy as its relative, the continental, mountain-dwelling Lodgepole Pine. In some respects this is not a surprise, since many Shore Pines live close to the Northwest coastline in the same sort of zone as the Japanese Black Pine does. Anton Nijhius of Vancouver Island, Canada collects many Shore Pine, and says that some of them live at 4,000 ft in a lot of cold on the Island, so there is definitely some room for…
View original post 272 more words
Okay, perhaps I defoliate too much. Maybe or maybe not. I can admit it before an audience. And, of course, there are those bonsai professionals out there who say, quite reasonably, that to cut off all a trees leaves might not be the best thing, horticulturally speaking. It seems, from a common sense view, a reasonable position to take. I mean, even an astrophysicist can deduce that a tree without leaves isn’t functioning very well, you know, photosynthesis and junk. But I have observed the results of well timed defoliation on healthy trees and can attest that it works (obviously we are doing this on broadleaf trees, not conifers like a juniper…). And it doesn’t bother me when I’m denigrated by these professionals because my trees show results, and other bonsai artists work gives credence to the defoliation technique. But recently I got a message from a Reddit user from…
View original post 2,342 more words
My interest in bonsai began in 1955, soon after I returned from the Korean War. My father had just turned his hobby into a business, and asked me if I would help him manage Bonsai By Kay in San Francisco. My father had been collecting and growing bonsai soon after returning to California from the internment center in 1946. It became a business in 1952. Word of his trees quickly became news in the Bay Area and his business fared well.
My father was among several contributors to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens “Handbook of Dwarf Potted Trees, The Bonsai of Japan, 1953.” He was also well regarded by his peers, Homei Iseyama (Berkeley), Yuji Yoshimura (Japan), and John Naka (Los Angeles).
I worked under his tutelage full time for three years and part time for another three years, while I was a student in Landscape Architecture. I left the business…
View original post 99 more words